Unfortunately, when we travel, time is not infinite and your days in Krakow will surely fly by. In order to organise your timetable properly and make sure you don't run out of time, you should know that you will have to spend between half a day and a whole day visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Take note, I will explain how long the visits last, how much time you will need if you want to visit it at your own pace and how long the journey from Krakow takes.
How long are the Auschwitz tours from Krakow?
If you choose to book an all-inclusive tour to Auschwitz from Krakow, calculate that the total duration (including transfers and guided tour) will be about 7 hours, so you will have spent more than half a day on this tour.
Depending on the language in which you choose to do the tour, you can leave at one time or another. The good thing? In Hellotickets you will find availability to do it in Spanish at different times of the day, so the flexibility you will have to organise your day is maximum.
The journey time is just over an hour and the guided tour lasts about three hours, so we have a day of approximately 7 hours ahead of us. The first tour departs from Krakow at 6:30 in the morning, to be at Auschwitz during the opening of the camp (this option is of course only suitable for the most impatient or early risers). From this time onwards, departures are available every 30 minutes, with the last departure at midday. You can expect to be back in Krakow seven hours after departure.
How long does the tour to Auschwitz concentration camp on your own take?
There is no time limit to stay inside the camp. When you buy your tickets for the Auschwitz tour, you will have to choose the date and time you want to enter the camp, as all entrances are registered.
Once inside, you can expect to spend about three hours visiting the two Auschwitz-Birkenau camps. The idea is that you watch the initial documentary in the visitor centre (15 minutes) and then move on to discover the first camp with its exhibition rooms of objects and belongings of the victims and stop to appreciate the details.
With the purchase of your tickets you will have free access to an audio guide that will explain everything you see through headphones as you go through the different areas of the camp. At the end of the tour, remember to add the time it will take you to get back to Krakow, so you will need more than 7 hours in total (add the waiting time at the ticket office if you haven't bought your tickets online in advance).
How long does it take to get to Auschwitz from Krakow?
Auschwitz is located in the Polish town of Oświęcim, about 70 kilometres from the capital. All in all, if you're travelling by road, it shouldn't take much more than an hour and a quarter, depending on traffic. See my article on how to get to Auschwitz from Kraków for more details.
If you are travelling with an organised tour booking to Auschwitz from Kraków, the journey will be direct and without intermediate stops. The journey will be slightly longer if you choose to use the public transport bus. With departures from 6am and 8pm in the morning, you will have the whole day to get to and from Auschwitz without any problems.
If you travel by train, you'll have to change tracks, so the journey will take almost two hours. Add to that the two kilometres from the train station to the concentration camp entrance (walking can take an additional half hour ).
How long is the combined Auschwitz and Salt Mine tour?
A popular option for travellers to Krakow is to book a tour to Auschwitz and the Salt Mines as the aim is to make the most of your time by doing both visits in one day.
You will first visit the concentration camp and then the bus will take you to the entrance to the Salt Mines, where you can take a guided tour inside.
Expect the total duration of this tour to be about 11 hours, so don't plan to do anything else that day. However, the rest of your trip you will have free time to organise your day in Krakow at your leisure.